I had the privilege of attending the Direct Marketing Association’s DM Days New York at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in Manhattan. The event covered all things marketing, from brand development and creative strategies to e-mail marketing and social media, and much, much more. I chose to spend the better part of my day sitting in on a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) presentation given by Matt Bailey of SiteLogic, which was presented by Search Engine Strategies (SES). The program itself was an intensive discussion of the importance of SEO that not only confirmed for me that A&W’s SEO strategies are current with today’s online trends, it also gave me a greater understanding of this important online element as well as a broader perspective on the overall importance of Web analytics, Internet marketing, Web usability and social media (yes, all these topics were discussed… I have more than 20 pages of notes to prove it!)
The points Mr. Bailey made proved that no Web site should be planned, discussed or designed without taking into consideration all of these vital elements, an opinion shared by A&W since we first started building Web sites. They all go into making a Web site work and coincide rather closely with one another. In order to get the best return on investment (ROI) out of your site’s online presence, you should never leave one of these elements untouched… particularly SEO and Web analytics. Think about it: to get the most from your Web site, you need to rank high in search engines organically while simultaneously giving your target audience valuable content and following the data on how your Web site is performing.
The one aspect of Mr. Bailey’s presentation that I left with is that SEO is more than just keywords and link building (even though they’re both still the foundation of any SEO campaign—read more about this in my previous article here); rather, it is also about the overall usability of the site, how well structured the site is, and the ability to have the Web analytics prove it. That being the case, all good Web sites should be able to do the following:
- Identify an audience.
- Engage the users.
- Show the benefits.
- Fill a need.
Research done prior to launching an SEO-friendly Web site on these four points will greatly enhance the overall online presence of the Web site itself.
To quote Rebecca Lieb, an internationally known SEO expert and former editor of ClickZ and SearchEngineWatch.com, from her book The Truth About Search Engine Optimization, “Search Engine Optimization is the foundation of all online marketing.” Bottom line, proper SEO planning and research can kick start and lead to a successful and profitable Web site redesign, social media page, pay-per-click campaign, and/or email/newsletter blast. It is hard to imagine any marketing campaign without the proper market research… isn’t it?
Future posts on SEO, Web analytics, and social media will undoubtedly be pulled from this SES presentation; that is, once my head stops spinning, the excitement finally settles, and I fully process my over 20 pages of notes.